7 Lottery Winner Stories with Happy Endings

There's nothing like hearing about good things happening to good people - especially when they're winning lottery jackpots and becoming instant millionaires! While many who play the lottery and win choose to spend their newfound fortune on lavish homes and luxury cars, there are still those who instead put their money to good use so that they can help others. We could all use a reminder that the lottery can be about more than cold cash, so read on for seven heartwarming lottery winner stories with happy endings!


The very best lottery winners success stories

The very best lottery winners success stories aren't necessarily about winning the biggest jackpots. The most moving stories are ones about winners who desperately needed some good luck and finally got it, or kindhearted people who chose to be generous and charitable with their good fortune. You might not think that these stories are all that common, which is why we've gathered the very best inspiring lottery winners stories here to help you change your mind.

1. A $217 million jackpot and a wish to save the planet

lottery winner stories with happy Endings

In December 2020, when one lucky Frenchman won what was at the time the highest EuroMillions jackpot ever, he immediately knew what he wanted to do with the money.

"The minute I found out I was the lucky winner of the EuroMillions, I had the will to share my luck," was what he had to say about his decision.

The winner, nicknamed "Guy," decided to put most of his winnings into a foundation he started in order to protect the environment. "From my point of view, the priority today is saving the planet," he said. "I have passed on most of my prize money and will gradually give away almost all of it." That definitely isn't how most lottery winners spend their money! Read more about Guy's win in this 9 April 2022 CNN story.

2. £115 million win made her "addicted to helping"

lottery winners success stories

Frances Connolly was so prepared for her 2019 EuroMillions jackpot win that she had a list ready of all her friends and family she'd distribute money to before the draw even happened!

That generosity didn't satisfy her, however, as it only made her want to give more of her £115 million prize away. "It gives you a buzz and it's addictive," Frances told told the BBC. "I'm addicted to it now."

As a result of that addiction to generosity, she had already donated more than half of the entire jackpot by 2022!

3. An NZ $5.3 million Mother's Day card

As reported in the New Zealand Herald, one New Zealand mother was in for a massive surprise when she was handed a Mother's Day card from her daughter that turned out to contain a NZ $5.3 million (around €3.17 million) winning New Zealand Powerball ticket!

The daughter had bought the ticket for the 7 May 2022 draw. After finding out the ticket was a jackpot winner the daughter could have claimed the winnings for herself. Instead, she popped the ticket right back into the card and handed it to her mother. That might just make her daughter of the year!

4. $429 million to fight poverty

lottery success stories

When the Smiths won the lottery they didn't blow their jackpot on cars or houses. According to HuffPo, after paying off their mortgages, student loans, and setting aside some for savings, the Smiths decided to give back to their city - and in a big way!

After Pearlier Smith and her seven children won a massive $429 million playing US Powerball in 2016, the family set up the Smith Family Foundation to provide financial funding for various grassroots organisations that work hard to improve the lives of people in their city of Trenton, New Jersey.


5. A $1 million change in luck

Brian Parisi of Massachusetts, USA had been going through a very rough spell and needed a change of luck fast. In the two years leading up to his big win he had suffered both a significant injury in a car accident and a cancer diagnosis. Thankfully, things finally looked up for Brian in March of 2022 when he won a $1 million lottery prize.

After the terrible two years he'd had, Brian would be forgiven for spending all the money on himself. Still, he chose to help repay the kindness he'd gotten during his time of need by making replacing the roof on his brother-in-law's house one of the first things he did with the winnings.

You can read more about Brian in this feature on him on Boston.com.

6. Entire CAD $11.2 million prize donated!

best lottery winners success stories

Allen and Violet Large made headlines in the best way possible when they won the Canada Lotto 649 CAD $11.2 million (around €8.2 million) jackpot in July 2010. Both in their 70's, the elderly couple decided to donate every single cent to charity!

"What you've never had, you never miss," Violet explained in an interview. The charitable couple had enough retirement savings and were living comfortably, so they didn't really need the prize money. "That money that we won was nothing. We have each other," Allen told reporters.

Hospitals in Truro and Halifax, Nova Scotia, were among the main beneficiaries of the Large's generosity, along with their local fire department, churches and cemeteries, and other charitable organisations.

"It made us feel good," said Violet, "and there's so much good being done with that money."

7. A Good deed earns half a million dollars

lotto success stories

Image from Massachusetts State Lottery.

In a story worthy of a CBS News article, Eric Cochrane took his son's guitar in to be repaired at John Galvin's guitar store. Knowing that Eric's son had been suffering from a health problem, John refused to charge for the repair. After John refused to even accept a symbolic $40 from Eric, the father decided to purchase lottery tickets with that money and split the winnings with John if he got lucky.

Somehow, against all odds, that's exactly what happened and Eric - true to his word - evenly split a million dollar lottery prize with the friendly guitar store owner in April 2022.

It may not be anwhere close to a record-breaking prize, but John and Eric's story is an amazing reminder of how far human kindness can truly go.

theLotter's lottery success stories

Paying out more than $110 million in prizes to over 7 million winning tickets from all around the world, theLotter has helped create literally millions of lottery success stories for our growing list of lottery winners.

From our very first jackpot winner, who won $6.4 million playing Oregon Megabucks all the way from Iraq, to our biggest jackpot winner ever, who won $30 million playing Florida Lotto from Panama, we've been proud to be a part of so many life-changing wins.

What will your lotto success stories be?

For your chance to star in your own lotto success stories, buy lottery tickets online and maybe one day you'll be able to follow in the footsteps of these seven inspiring winners.